Darwin's Nightmare

Vladimir Lenin was one of the most influential political thinkers of his time. He took over the Russian Government with the ideas of Marx and ruled the country he thought fit. Lenin is known for his idea of Leninism which he believed the workers should be dictated by the vanguard party. Another idea that Lenin is known for is his theory on imperialism. The meaning of imperialism is when a state or a person begins to take control or have an influence of power over another state or persons.

Lenin’s idea of imperialism was the new state of capitalism. The movie Darwin’s Nightmare many look at it as an economical piece but in fact it also has imperialism that Lenin believed would happen to countries over time. Lenin had 5 different points of imperialism and the movie hits every point. The first point or definition that Lenin explains about imperialism is how monopolies play a large role in economic life. In the movie the big fish factories are not ran by the people of Tanzania, but by Indian foreigners. These factories may not be considered huge monopolies, but maybe semi-monopolies.

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These factories have to compete with the larger factories that have the best fish in the world, but in fact the Nile River shown in this movie has the richest fish known as the Perch, that many in Europe would pay a pretty penny for. The second aspect of imperialism that Lenin explains is that imperialism would cause a development of financial oligarchy. Financial oligarchy means that the monopolistic elitist have control over the financial capital in the economic and political countries during their imperialistic stage.

The movie shows how the factories have control not over the people but also the government as well. The factories bring in revenue for the country but it does not help the people that have HIV or the people living on the streets. The women have to work as prostitutes sleeping with the pilots who take the fish from their country, which puts these women at risk for HIV and puts their lives at risk because the jobs in this country are very scarce. These monopolies do not help the people of the country.

These people could be eating this fish that their catching but instead they give it to the factories for them to make money. Then there is the black market for the remains of the fish which are the head and other non-rich parts of the fish. This shows how controlled the country is by the monopolies that even the remains of the fish need to be paid for. Lenin explains that the banks have control of industry, but in the case of this film there are no banks that have control over the industry.

The film does not show the banks but even if there are half decent banks in this country they are probably over ran by the government which is then over ran by the monopolies. The third example of imperialism that Lenin explains is the export of capital is of great importance. The movie is based on export of capital all the way to the end. The monopolies depend on the planes to come and pick up the fish so that they can receive their money. During Lenin’s writing on imperialism most commodities were developed in the advanced capital states and then exported to the rest of the world.

There has been a change to that, now a days the bigger capitalistic states move their production to smaller Third World countries. This is what we see in the film, the Indian’s run and control the fish markets, paying the people who work there very little. They then export the fish to the countries that will pay top dollar for the fish such as Great Britain and Russia, so in the end the people running the factories make more. Lenin’s forth example of imperialism was that the world would be divided up among international trusts.

This means that the international cartels would divide up the world based on the industry. The capitalist states would run all the smaller states making a profit off of their products. In the end the world would have a world market which then would form international cartels. Lenin condemned the formation of international cartels because he believed they would over take the Third World countries. This is not completely true in today’s world but in the future it may come again. In the movie it does show signs of what Lenin is talking about.

The country is divided and ran by foreigners for the most part but it only shows a few cultures that make a profit off of the fish industry. The Russians and Indians that are shown in the movie have the higher paying jobs in the film. The people unfortunately, who live in this country depend on the fish factories for them to receive any type of income. If the factories were to close down the men and women of this country would have less work than they have now. More women would turn to prostitution which would in turn spread more diseases.

Lenin’s final example of imperialism is the worlds division of territories is completed. This means that the Great Powers divide the world into territories hunting for raw materials for their countries to stay in power. They take control of the small countries who have little capitalism and begin to take over their materials such as oil or in the case of the film their fish. This small country of Tanzania was taken over by the Indian culture for their fish so they could export it and make a profit for themselves.

This country has little capitalism so it was easy for the foreigners to come in and take it over. The government probably is paid off by these factories so that they can stay in the country. Darwin’s Nightmare also shows issues of globalization and colonialism. The people of this poor country have to put themselves in harms way so those of the European countries can dine off of their fish. This shows how what the world has come to, instead of countries trying to help these people fight diseases and develop jobs so they can make a living they have forced them into starvation

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